FanPost

thoughts about the Athletics After Dark media credential issue

Like many others, I've been a fan of Dale Tafoya's "Athletics After Dark" podcasts. I've been impressed by the quality of his interviews and the general fairness of his opinions. I've been happy to see that the A's gave him media credentials, since that's not always the case with "new media" outlets. So I was surprised to hear that they had been revoked.

Last night I received a direct message from Tafoya that A's Director of Public Relations Bob Rose (brose@oaklandathletics.com) had removed Tafoya's press credentials for criticism of Geren. The message indicated that Tafoya would go public soon, and that he would ask for support. I replied asking what I could do to support.

When I saw public tweets from many fans about this I was surprised, but knew that you can't really control what other people do. At that point I tweeted Rose's A's email address and suggested that people write him.

However, when Tafoya began retweeting all kinds of comments there was an immediate negative reaction from many fans. This is understandable, as we do not have much information yet on why his press credentials were removed. I have suggested to him that the retweets are ill advised.

Like others I don't understand why the A's would revoke Tafoya's credentials when many other media people have criticized Geren both before and since he was fired. In fact, many of their criticisms were much harsher than anything I've read or heard from Tafoya. So why the revocation? It's entirely possible that there's something more serious that we don't know about. However, I think there might be another explanation.

I know of quite a few OT cases where members of "new media" have had their press credentials revoked after reporting on a controversial topic. In these cases they were not the only or even the principal reporters. However, in each case the organization that revoked them did so with the excuse that as 'new media' they were not professional journalists. This of course begs the question of why they were issued the credentials in the first place. But perhaps they get targeted because it would be far more problematic to revoke the credentials of "old media" journalists. In short, the "new media" journalists are easier targets. Perhaps this sends a message to the other journalists.

In any event, I really hope that Tafoya's credentials can be restored, as I value his work with Athletics After Dark. If for some good reason they cannot be restored, I hope that this does not close the door to other "new media" journalists or put a chill on the willingness of the media to ask and publish the tough questions.

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